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Late defensive stand helps Florida State hold off Boston College

The Seminoles get pressure on quarterback Phil Jurkovec, while their own QB throws for three touchdowns.
Florida State defensive back Akeem Dent, middle, who picked off Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec (27) with less than two minutes to play, celebrates with teammates Jarvis Brownlee Jr. (3) and Jarques McClellion (15).
Florida State defensive back Akeem Dent, middle, who picked off Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec (27) with less than two minutes to play, celebrates with teammates Jarvis Brownlee Jr. (3) and Jarques McClellion (15). [ MARY SCHWALM | Associated Press ]
Published Nov. 20

BOSTON — Florida State’s extra work this week figuring out how to pressure Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec paid off right to the end.

Now, the Seminoles have a shot to keep their own season going a little extra, too.

Jordan Travis threw for three touchdowns and 251 yards and Florida State stopped the Eagles in their own territory in the final two minutes for a 26-23 victory on Saturday.

A week after rallying from an eight-point deficit in the final five minutes for a victory over rival Miami, the Seminoles (5-6, 4-4 ACC) rolled to a 23-point lead before holding on to move a victory away from becoming bowl eligible.

“It sets us up for a huge week ahead,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “They’ve battled back to this point. We’re 0-and-4 at the beginning of the season, not many people gave us a chance. We’re going into this week with an opportunity to win one more and that’s special.”

Florida State has won five of seven after its rough start.

Travis completed 20-of-34 passes with no interceptions, connecting with three different receivers for scores.

“It means everything,” Travis said of the chance to make a bowl. “It’s a big week for us. It’s a big rival week again. We’ve just got to get back to work.”

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis (13) looks to pass under pressure from Boston College defenders during the first half.
Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis (13) looks to pass under pressure from Boston College defenders during the first half. [ MARY SCHWALM | Associated Press ]

Coming off his five-touchdown day last Saturday in a victory at Georgia Tech — three rushing and two throwing — Jurkovec went 10-of-24 for 148 yards with a touchdown and one interception. He carried 17 times for 59 yards with a score.

“They’ve got two really good defensive ends and a defensive tackle and he took some shots early,” BC coach Jeff Hafley said of the pressure on his quarterback. “I thought we adjusted well and took less shots in the second half. But early on, he took some shots and he’s a tough kid. He hung in there, but we definitely have to protect better.”

Pat Garwo III had a scoring run for the Eagles (6-5, 2-5).

The Seminoles led 19-3 at halftime and scored on the initial drive of the second half when Malik McClain made a leaping grab of Travis’ pass in the back of the end zone.

BC then scored two touchdowns — failing on a two-point conversion on the first — in just over 3 ½ minutes early in the fourth, slicing it to 26-23 on Jurkovec’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers.

BC converted a fourth and 2 from their 43 with just over 4 ½ minutes left, but Akeem Dent picked off Jurokvec’s desperation pass as the quarterback was falling to the ground under pressure at the Seminoles’ 25 on a fourth and 9 with 1:42 left.

Florida State pressured, hit or sacked Jurkovec nearly every time he dropped back to pass in the opening half, limiting the Eagles to just 95 total yards.

“It was something we spent a lot of time on this week, trying to make him feel uncomfortable,” Norvell said. “He’s a talented quarterback that makes all the throws and you see he’s able to extend plays with his legs. I thought the effort on the defensive front, how they rallied and how they swarmed, it was special.”